July will go down in the record books as the second warmest month and tied for the fourth driest July at the Salt Lake International Airport.
Temperatures averaged 80.9 degrees, 3.4 degrees above normal. The warmest July on record was 81.2 degrees (average of each day's high and low temperature readings) in 1960.July had four days of 100-degree-plus temperatures; the normal amount is three. Six days had 100-degree or higher temperatures during June and July combined, with five the average for June through August, said William J. Alder, meteorologist in charge of the Salt Lake office of the National Weather Service.
During 22 days the temperature was above 95 degrees, with the record being 23 days in July 1960.
The .04 of an inch of moisture received during July tied for the fourth driest July on record. Other or equally dry Julys were 1963, when a trace of moisture was received; .01 in 1947; .02, 1960; and .04, 1944 and 1935.
A total of 9.65 inches of precipitation has been recorded for the water year that began last Oct. 1. That is 71 percent of normal. Normally, 13.50 inches of moisture would have been recorded during the 10 months. October 1987 through July 1988 ranks as the ninth driest 10-month period at the airport; the driest was the 1933-34 period, when only 6.95 inches of precipitation fell.
June and July were the warmest and driest months of 60 years of rec-ord keeping at the airport. The average temperature was 78.3 degrees or 5.2 degrees above normal. The previous hottest June-July period was in 1961 with 77.3 being the average temperature during the two months.
Only .07 of an inch of precipitation fell during June and July at the airport. The previous driest period was .09 during the two months in 1933 and 1958.
"If you consider the summer as starting June 1, the two-month period ending July 31 is the warmest on record. There's never been a warmer two-month period on record in 114 years of record keeping in the Salt Lake metropolitan area," said Dean Jackman, deputy meteorologist in charge at the airport.
While only .04 of an inch of precipitation was recorded during July at the airport, it was somewhat wetter in southern Utah. But the only weather observation station to report above normal amounts of precipitation was Bryce Canyon with 1.45. Monticello recorded 1.35, but this was below normal.
Alder said the Great Salt Lake continues to evaporate. The lake has dropped a phenomenal 18 inches since Feb. 10. The water temperature is 81 degrees, salinity at 8.4 percent and the lake level was 4,208.05 feet above sea level Aug. 1.